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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Allstate
  • Lucid Interactive Ltd
  • Seagate
  • Sita
  • Relay Software

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Software Developer
  • IT SPECIALIST
  • Graduate Technical Consultant
  • ICT Technical Support

Overview

This course provides a broad education in computer science with a particular focus on software systems development.

Summary

This course is offered at the Magee campus by the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. If you are interested in computer software design, how computers communicate and how they actually perform their tasks, then this course is for you. This course will equip you with a varied computer science education based upon the development and improvement of your programming skills throughout. You will also learn to apply best practice in all areas of software development. After you complete this course you will have the skills necessary to pursue a career in computing in a wide range of commercial and industrial organisations.

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About this course

In this section

About

The Computer Science Software Systems Development course aims to deliver graduates that can apply best practice in the application of software engineering to the development of a wide range of information systems in organisations. The course of study covers all the necessary skills you will need to be a computing professional, from idea generation to system implementation.

Each taught year, you will take 120 credit points, which require 1200 hours effort divided into 24 weeks across 2 academic semesters. During the first two years you will build programming skills through modules that teach not only the principles of programming (Programming 1) but also high level programming languages (in Programming 2 and Visual Programming modules). In developing your capabilities to design, build, operate and maintain complex computer and information technology systems modules such as System Analysis-Design, Database Systems, Computer Networks, Web Database Development, Object Oriented Modelling and Interactive Interface Design provide a platform for skill development and practical application. Also, during your second year of study, you will start the process of applying for a placement job in industry, you are supported in this endeavour by the Professional Issues module which dedicates a part of its content to employability.

During the final year, you will get exposed to more advance topics to consolidate your knowledge and understanding of the software development role in industry in preparation for future employment. Modules at this stage include Mobile Technologies, Enterprise Computing, Concurrent and Distributed Systems and Software Engineering. In your final year you will also gain practical experience in the planning, development and implementation of a computing system, this can be used to showcase your skillset to future employers.

The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’. This course will be ‘refreshed’ during the 2017/18 academic year, with changes put in place for students entering in September 2018. For the most up-to-date course/ module information, please contact the Course Director:

Mairin Nicell E: ma.nicell@ulster.ac.uk

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

Four years, including placement. Each student must complete 120 credits (usually six modules) in each academic year, with the exception of placement year (60 credits). Years 1, 2 and 4 are spent in the University. Modules are taught on campus and are web-supplemented. In Year 3, students undertake a year's work experience.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Mathematics for Computing

Year: 1

This module is designed to give the student an appreciation of the mathematical concepts required for computer science. This module provides fundamental topics necessary for developing student competencies in the essential mathematics that forms an integral part of an undergraduate honours degree in computing.

Software Development I

Year: 1

This module provides students of computing with an initial competence in the development of software through the medium of a modern programming language with facilities for both structured and object-oriented programming

Software Development II

Year: 1

This module is a direct follow-on to Software Development I. Students are introduced to more advanced features of both an algorithmic programming language and an object oriented language, and will be expected to acquire a higher level of competence in writing software.

Database Systems

Year: 1

The module covers the fundamental principles and theory of database design and provides practical experience in designing and developing database systems using a range of techniques, tools and technologies. It emphasises the important role of databases within an organisation and addresses the use of scalable and secure relational database management systems to facilitate the development of software systems involving large volumes of data and over the web.

Computer Hardware and Operating Systems

Year: 1

Differences in the internal structure and organisation of a computer lead to significant differences in performance and functionality, giving rise to an extraordinary range of computing devices, from hand-held computers to large-scale, high-performance machines. This module addresses the various options involved in designing a computer system, the range of design considerations, and the trade-offs involved in the design process.

Systems Analysis and Design

Year: 1

This module is devoted to the understanding of organisations as systems, the environment in which they operate and the processes they undertake.

It provides the student with knowledge of the tools and techniques of modern systems analysis, essential to the creation of information systems using industrial best practice.

It investigates concepts associated with business analysis, methodologies and modelling techniques in use today. The module also develops project management and communication skills.

The module will develop a student as an IT professional analysing and designing effective systems in industrial and commercial environments.

Students nurture their professional skills and learn how to work collaboratively in teams.

Year two

Computer Networks & Security

Year: 2

This module provides an in-depth study of computer, communications and networks. This module will introduce the concepts and principles of computer networks to guide the installation and maintenance of modern, high quality reliable networks. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to learn how to configure and test networks, deploy network based software applications and resolve network infrastructural problems. Students will have an in-depth knowledge of basic skills in networking, and an appreciation for emerging themes that could impact networking in the future

UX

Year: 2

This module builds on programming foundations covered in Year 1 and provides a foundation for the Web development modules in Year 2 and 4. In addition, it offers an appreciation of user factors in application design and provides students with the tools to specify and develop high quality user interfaces.

Object oriented Programming

Year: 2

This module builds on the programming foundations developed during year one and introduces students to the concepts of object-oriented design and programming. Students learn how to use OO concepts to design and implement software solution using the C++ programming language.

Algorithms and Data Structures

Year: 2

The module builds upon the expertise acquired in Year 1 software development. Students are introduced to the classic data structures and algorithms that are used to process them, the specification of methods and classes and the measurement of algorithm performance.

Web Application Development

Year: 2

This module concerns the basic principles underlying the creation and maintenance of dynamic, database driven web applications. The module focuses on how to build and maintain real-world, dynamic websites using open source languages including PHP and MySQL.

Mobile Application Development

Year: 2

This module will provide students with the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills that will equip them to mature as software developers specialising in application development for mobile technologies. Students will gain detailed knowledge of the mobile app creation process and of developing software solutions targeted at the Android environment. The knowledge gained and the solid foundation developed will equip the student with the confidence and capability to be able to extend their study to wider environments both existing and yet to emerge.

Professional Development

Year: 2

This module is designed to equip students with the appropriate research and transferable skills needed to secure employment within the Computing and Engineering domain.

The module prepares students for professional work by developing knowledge of the responsibilities and obligations of employees, employers and clients as determined by codes of professional conduct. Students will have the opportunity to practise the presentation of themselves in, for example, application forms, curriculum vitae, interview, elevator pitches and aptitude tests.

The module provides an underpinning foundation of research concepts, methods and techniques necessary for project development and delivery. The students employ research skills developed during the module to gather research from a variety of sources and critically review this literature. Embedded in all these activities is the reinforcement of the need for adhering to recognised ethical standards and taking a professional approach to employability.

Year three

Professional Practice - Computing

Year: 3

This module enables students who have secured a placement job to complete a period of appropriate work experience in a supportive environment. Students will have opportunities to gain employability skills, reflect upon the applicability of their subject-specific skills, and gain insight into the graduate job market. Students who successfully complete the module are eligible for the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) or Diploma in Professional Practice International (DPPI) for international placements.

International Academic Studies

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Year four

Cyber Security

Year: 4

This module provides an in-depth study of secure computer systems. This module will introduce the concepts and principles of secure systems. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to learn how to configure and test application and network security, deploy secure network based software applications, configure cloud systems and resolve security problems. Students will have an in-depth knowledge of basic skills in security, and an appreciation for emerging themes that could impact secure systems in the future.

Concurrent and Distributed Systems

Year: 4

This module provides a theoretical foundation in the area of concurrent and distributed systems. This is an increasingly important area of computing as these types of systems are now manifest in a wide range of internet/intranet based application domains. The module first covers the key theory and design principles and then provides a learning path for software development in this exciting and evolving area of computing/engineering. As a consequence it facilitates students to develop expertise in the core skills area of multithreaded, networked and web-enabled computer systems.

Enterprise Computing

Year: 4

This module will expose students to the world of heterogeneous enterprise computing with an emphasis on multi-tier, web enabled applications. This is an increasingly important area of computing as these systems are now manifest in a wide range of web based applications. The module will first provide an understanding of the role and function of the core technologies involved and then address the design principles required for developing enterprise computing applications. Consequently this module aims to meet the needs of today's undergraduate students who wish to equip themselves with expertise in implementing enterprise wide computing systems.

Advanced Mobile Technology

Year: 4

This module addresses and develops understanding and knowledge of key and emerging concepts associated with mobile technologies, and fosters related mobile application software design and development principles.

Final Year Project

Year: 4

Students are required to undertake a major project during the final year of the course. The module offers students an opportunity to develop a realistic and meaningful piece of work during their final year. This module allows a chosen subject area to be researched in depth and a solution developed as a consequence. Students will have the opportunity to integrate and apply the learning achieved from other modules in the course. The module runs during both semesters and allows students to develop a comprehensive approach to all aspects of working on a large project. The project encourages innovation and creative thinking in the development of the solution. It also develops the entrepreneurial mindset, which can influence the challenges undertaken and final decisions made.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The GCE A Level requirement for this course is grades BBB. All subject areas considered.

Desirable Subject Offer

For those applicants offering desirable subjects at A level (Mathematics/Physics/Chemistry/Software Systems Development/Computing (not IT/ICT)) one grade reduction will be applied at the time of offer. The desirable subject must be achieved at a minimum grade B.

Applicants offering qualifications as an alternative to A-levels will receive the equivalent reduction when those qualifications include a significant proportion of mathematics, software development and/or physical science.

Applied General Qualifications

The requirement for this course is BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma with overall award profile of DDM to include a minimum of 9 unit distinctions. All subject areas considered.

The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept combinations of A Levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate, BTEC 90-credit Diploma/National Foundation Diploma and BTEC National Diploma. For further information on the requirements for this course please contact admissions staff:

T: +44 (0) 28 7167 5678
E: admissionsmg@ulster.ac.uk

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Highers requirement for this course H3,H3,H3,H3,H3, (typical grade profile) plus English and Mathematics at Grade H6 or above (HL) or Grade O4 or above (OL) if not sitting at Higher Level is also required. All subject areas considered.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC. All subject areas considered.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC. All subject areas considered.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement for this course is a minimum of 26 points to include 13 at Higher Level. Grade 4 in Mathematics and English Language also required in overall profile.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Successful completion of a Ulster University validated Access route with an overall mark of 70% to include 70% in NICATS Maths (level 2) or GCSE Mathematics grade C (or equivalent) for entry to year 1.

Other Access courses considered individually, please contact admissions staff:

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5678
E: admissionsmg@ulster.ac.uk

http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

GCSE

GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade C or above in Mathematics and English Language.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

OCR/Cambridge Technical Combinations
The Faculty of Computing and Engineering accept a range of alternative combination of qualifications such as OCR Nationals and OCR Cambridge Technicals.

HND/HNC
HNC requirement is overall Distinction in a relevant subject area for year 1 entry only.

HND requirement is overall Merit in a relevant subject area. HND applications may be considered for year 2 entry where the curriculum sufficiently matches that of Ulster University full time year 1 course.

Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 55% and minimum 55% in all taught level 5 modules. Applicants will normally be considered for entry to an associated Honours degree (normally Year 2 entry).

For further information regarding all of the above qualifications please contact the admissions staff:

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5678
E: admissionsmg@ulster.ac.uk

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C (or equivalent). Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger.

Teaching and learning assessment

Lectures are used to present theory and concepts, and are supported through a combination of tutorial discussion and practical, laboratory exercises.

Modules are either assessed by coursework only or by a combination of coursework and formal examinations (January and May). Coursework assessment is carried out using any combination of written assignments, class tests, presentations, and group assignments as appropriate to meet the learning outcomes of each module.

Exemptions and transferability

Transfer between this course and other similar courses within the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment may be possible on the basis of academic performance and availability of places.

Exemption from parts may be considered based on appropriate performance in a related, designated course or other approved experiential learning (APEL).

The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Allstate
  • Lucid Interactive Ltd
  • Seagate
  • Sita
  • Relay Software

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Software Developer
  • IT SPECIALIST
  • Graduate Technical Consultant
  • ICT Technical Support

Career options

Graduates with computer science and software systems development skills will find many career opportunities available to them in developing new software. On completing this course successfully, students will be able to choose from a number of career options such as software engineer, computer programmer, computing consultant, or systems’ manager or administrator. Skills developed in the course will always be in strong demand, as virtually every modern enterprise needs increasing numbers of computer-literate graduates.

Opportunities for postgraduate study in computing, engineering or related areas are substantial. The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.

Work placement / study abroad

All students normally spend one year on placement (Year 3) working in some aspect of the software industry for a minimum period of 25 weeks. On satisfactory completion of the placement period the student is eligible for the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP). Students who complete their industrial placement abroad receive the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (International).

Alternatively, students may apply to complete a year of study abroad in another academic institution. Satisfactory completion leads to the award of Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS).

Professional recognition

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Science Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist.

Academic profile

Members of the teaching team are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and Members of the industry professional body - the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Through their research, knowledge transfer and placement activities, teaching staff are also actively engaged with the local software and IT industry, and many modules on the course are directly informed by staff research activities.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
£4,160.00
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
International:
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Faculty Prizes can be viewed at: www.ulster.ac.uk/academicoffice/prizes.html.

Follow the links to the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.